I got an e-mail from Courtney’s teacher letting me know that she will be sending home the invite for Courtney’s 3 year re-evaluation next week. She then asked, “do you have any parental concerns?”
See, there is a section on the IEP that asks what parent’s concerns are at this time. It has to be filled out. Staff are required to ask this question. I know that has a Special Education teacher myself. But what a loaded question! Do I have any concerns? I have so many concerns. Concerns most people shouldn’t have to think about as a mom of an 8 year old. Concerns like, will my daughter have someone to take care of her when I die years from now. That’s not what they are asking for though. Or maybe they are? I wonder what their answer would be if I replied with that answer?
Anyways, that is not what I put on the list. Yet, there are still some big concerns on my list so far. So what IS on my list of parental concerns?
- Aggression towards self and others. Courtney is aggressive both towards herself and others. I hate that this is the case. Most parents want to know what their child learn each day at school. The first thing I want to know is how aggressive was she? Who did she hurt? Did she bite herself? I would love to not have to worry about this some day. Instead I worry more and more each day. She is only getting bigger and stronger. Some day she may really hurt someone. Did you know her own sister is actually fearful of her at times?
- Statewide assessments. I know longer want Courtney to take statewide assessments. I may have read somewhere that once you are excused from statewide assessments you are making the choice that the child will not be eligible to receive an actual high school diploma. There you have it, at the age of 8, I’m already deciding that she will not receive a true high school diploma. Please someone correct me if I’m wrong though.
- Handwriting…why are we concentrating so much on handwriting. Is it awful that I’m mad at that? Courtney really struggles with fine motor. Writing her name is VERY difficult. Though with a great deal of hard work, she is starting to do it. She is 8 years old and barely able to write her name and most wouldn’t be able to read it. My concern is are we focusing too much on handwriting when it will forever be insanely difficult for her? When are we going to focus on other methods of writing such as typing? So while some are angry that they barely teach 8 year olds cursive now, I’m going to fight for the teachers to stop working on handwriting period.
- Now for a big one. Wait…high school diploma wasn’t considered a big one? Nope…I have bigger fish to fry right now. Potty training. Potty training is one of the big ones. Is it time to try again. Will she ever get it?
- Oh wait…I have a bigger concern. And yes, this a concern I need to share with a teacher. This is not just a concern for her caregivers at home. PUBERTY! More specifically, PERIODS. But Erin, she’s only 8?! Yes, she is only 8, but we have heard of those little girls who get it by the time they are 9 and 10. Well that is just around the corner. When do we start discussing how staff will handle this when the time comes? How will school handle when my daughter who is still in a diaper get her period?
- So while I’m at it, why don’t I ask the question…what happens when I’m no longer here?
There you have it. My answer to the loaded question, “do you have any parental concerns?” Yes, I do. I have some big ones. These are just a few of the ones that keep me up at night.